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Ghost in the Shell photo
Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell shooter adds words to its title ahead of western release

Class-based multiplayer shooter
Sep 17
// Steven Hansen
Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex First Connection Online is being called Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – First Assault Online for its 2016 western release. Yes, that's a push back from the earlier 2015 ...

Fumbling anime fighting with Saint Seiya: Soldiers' Soul

Sep 17 // Steven Hansen
I think my favorite thing about Saint Seiya is that I can say its title to the tune of Outkast's "Hey Ya!" Also it looks pretty pretty. Not quite as clean as some of Namco's other anime games, like the current One Piece and Naruto titles, which look gorgeous. But still good. Has that Killer is Dead extreme sheen and mild grunge to it. BRETT: I guess my favorite part about it is how I beat you at it. By the skin of my teeth in the final round, but a W's a W. I'm not quite sure how I did it. It probably has something to do with the fact that neither of us had a real clue how to play. A pre-fight intro screen was gracious enough to share all the controls, and it was convoluted enough to make me say "Hahaha, fuck this" out loud. I don't consider myself well-versed in fighters, and that goes doubly so for 3D fighters. In my layman's opinion, I thought it felt slow, but not in a bad way -- more of a moving chess match kind of way. The pace is likely the reason I was able to string together a few nine hit combos, which were satisfying even though I have no idea if they were impressive or not. Probably not, to be honest. It felt good when my golden boy blocked your dumb Kratos chains, too. STEVEN: Yeah, I was using a pink lady with green hair who, actually might've been a very pretty and slim man, according to pre-fight dialogue. Regardless, she had these Ivy Soul Calibur whip things going and I spent the first match just ranging Brett because it was easy to do and exploit, but that proved pretty boring so I tried to figure out other things to do. Figuring out the block button was essential, but I'm still confused about the supposed throw combination and also the specials. I do enjoy that 3D fighter running style -- "like chickens," you noted -- which is very anime-like (and definitely faster than something like Tekken). That general style of fighter (I lump Gundam Versus and Dissidia types in there, too) is interesting me, but not something I ever got into. I last spent notable time in a fighter with vanilla Street Fighter IV (I later tried to get into Persona 4: Arena, but not even Persona love could hold me). I'll mess with more Samurai Gunn, Towerfall, Duck Game, Smash Bros. these days. Had a bunch of stages, though, Saint Seiya. And a pretty good roster. I feel like a lot of fighters skimp on that recently, probably for DLC (Mortal Kombat X comes to mind). BRETT: Who knows if that roster is a blessing or a curse. For all we know, it's unbalanced as all get-up and there are glaring exploits. Probably not though, right? The meta's something that people can figure out when it releases very soon. We had fun, got a few chuckles, and ran around like chickens. Chalk that preview experience up as a success, I say.
The Fighting Animes photo
PS4, PC fighter
The Saint Seiya series has been going strong for nearly 30 years in Japan. Those elsewhere might know it as Knights of the Zodiac. Brett Makedonski and myself don't know it from Adam, though the maintained '80s anime art styl...

Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Get a brief look at the new Attack on Titan game's brutal combat

Sufficiently bloody
Sep 16
// Chris Carter
Information has been scant for Koei Tecmo's new Attack on Titan game, but the basic concept is starting to come into focus. The first minute of this trailer is all previously seen footage, but the rest shows the in...
Woof! photo

New Pokemon from XY & Z revealed!

More Zygarde and Greninja!
Sep 12
// Jed Whitaker
The latest issue of CoroCoro has leaked online revealing multiple new never before seen Pokémon from the anime series Pokémon XY & Z. First up is a new version or color variation of everyone's favorite frog ...
The Last Samurai photo
The Last Samurai

Wait, the American Sniper writer is doing Afro Samurai 2?

Of Rogue Warrior fame
Sep 04
// Steven Hansen
I'm sorry, how did I miss this? All of this. Let me step back. Jim DeFelice co-wrote the book American Sniper with the titular American sniper and Scott McEwen. This later spawned an unfortunate Oscar-bait film that made ins...
Kindred Spirits photo
Kindred Spirits

Sexy lesbian ghost game comes to Steam uncensored

Sep 02
// Steven Hansen
Valve has a long, rich history of banning sexy lesbian ghost games from its Steam platform, but Kindred Spirits on the Roof has scored (sex term) a win for the erotic in getting off on Steam without any censorship. Head tran...

Review: One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3

Aug 28 // Chris Carter
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Vita)Developer: Omega ForcePublisher: Bandai Namco GamesRelease: August 25 2015MSRP: $59.99 Pirate Warriors 3 is a reboot of sorts (within the confines of the Pirate series that is), taking us all the way back to the beginning. Players will get a recap of Gold Roger the Pirate King, and how his death sparked the search for the great One Piece treasure, ushering in the Great Age of Pirates. After briefly showing us a Young Luffy, stoked by the fires of adventure, the game jumps 10 years into the future as our hero begins to gather his crew, starting with the ruffian Zoro. It's ambitious, starting over like this, but it's a great starting point for players who enjoy Warriors games, and have no prior knowledge of One Piece's narrative. You'll even get all caught up with the Dressrosa arc, the most recent bit of story (albeit with a different ending). With all that in mind, this is a very brief recap indeed, with entire arcs condensed to a single mission. In that way it spreads itself thin in many ways, not to mention the odd design choice of starting all over on the third game in the series. Battles still follow the same Warriors beat 'em up formula you know and love, with light and heavy attacks that can be chained into combos. What's crazy this time around though is the introduction of the Kizuna system, which lends itself well to One Piece's insane over-the-top style. Here, you'll be able to call out teammates for attacks on a constant basis, as well as unleash gigantic supers with multiple crew members, culminating in an explosion that usually kills hundreds of people at once. It's a mixed bag though, because while said explosions look really cool, they're ultimately all the same despite what crew members you have in the mix. So while it's entertaining for the first 100 times, it loses its luster eventually. Also, the regular Kizuna attacks are a bit clunky, as there's a half second delay for your party members to jump in and do their thing. It's not a huge deal, but it definitely could have been handled better. [embed]308138:60166:0[/embed] As for the rest of the combat mechanics, they're rather on point, and as usual, I like to make the point that the system is much deeper than the "button mashing" scheme non-fans accuse the Warriors series of. For instance, Luffy, your first playable character, starts with 14 combos, all of which have a purpose when you're playing on higher difficulty levels. Plus with nearly 40 playable characters in all, the amount of variety on offer is nothing to sneeze at. You'll want to play on a higher difficulty too, because without it, the actual story scenarios will likely start to wear on you. Without a local partner to play with enemies tend to blend together throughout stages, and despite the mixing up of themes (military, rural), they all function basically in the same manner, with the same types of weapons. The dialogue is also poorly written at times, and doesn't do a great job of drawing you into the world beyond the out-of-mission cutscenes. But hot damn, is that world beautiful on PS4. The only time I ever saw a framerate hit was when Kizuna moves were being done in local co-op, but other than that, it's silky smooth. No matter how many enemies are on-screen the game is relatively stable, and it's easy to dash around an entire map and lay waste to hundreds of enemies at a time. While the mission objectives aren't innovative in any way, they nailed the hectic feel of the anime. The story follows the typical Warriors format of roughly 15 hours of gameplay, with 50 or more to try to max out every character. Of course, there's more modes available, including free play, and "Dream" mode, which is basically a remixed version of the story. The latter sees you jumping from island to island, fighting off enemies in unique scenarios and gaining new characters and bonuses in the process. As a note, online play is only available for story mode, but local co-op is enabled for every game type. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3, from a gameplay standpoint, is simply "more Pirate Warriors 2." It doesn't really do anything new outside of the slightly different Kizuna system, and veterans will likely favor the Dream mode instead of the retreading story. Despite its Frankenstein-esque shortcomings, Pirate Warriors 3 is a beautiful game, and still a lot of fun to play locally. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
One Piece review photo
From Straw Hat to Dressrosa
I haven't kept entirely up to date with One Piece, but I do read the summaries, and have caught most of the earlier arcs. It's a daunting task (the series has been running since 1997) in terms of the anime, and there's lots o...

Dragomon classes photo
Dragomon classes

Dragomon Hunter shows off monster hunting character classes

Chibi, colorful Monster Hunter-like
Aug 26
// Steven Hansen
That Monster Hunter-styled MMORPG Dragomon Hunter has put out a new video focusing on the available characters classes. All the classics are there: scout, mercenary, mage, buscemi, cleric, substitute teacher. The free-to-pla...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

New Attack on Titan PS4 game is lookin' good

A shade or ten prettier than the 3DS one
Aug 23
// Kyle MacGregor
No offense to Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains, which I'm sure Spike Chunsoft put a lot of hard work into, but this is more like it. This is the sort of Shingeki no Kyojin game I've been waiting for. This time around ...
Red Ash photo
Red Ash

Red Ash returns to crowdfunding for more cash

Studio 4℃ wants to make the anime longer
Aug 16
// Kyle MacGregor
Mega Man Legends wannabe Red Ash needs more money. No, not the game. Keiji Inafune and company already secured a publisher prior to the project failing to meet its lofty Kickstarter goal. Animation group Studio 4°C i...

Obscure Video Games: Zettai Zetsumei Dangerous Jiisan DS

Aug 15 // Obscure Video Games
Now while the objective of each mini-game is usually obvious, the reason you are doing them rarely is. So I asked Grandpa for some explanation, and here's what he said: "When you go for a walk, always bring along a bag of dog poo in case a homeless person asks you for food." "Grandpa's inner thigh is feeling very sore today. Could you be a good boy and massage it for me?" "The roaches aren't screaming; they just have built-up air in their shells." "Stop being a pussy; this is how real men bowl." "We're taking a trip to the moon today, but I need you to fill up the gas tank." "Grandpa's gonna get you some ice cream like he promised, but first he needs a visit to the little boys' room." [embed]297486:59891:0[/embed] This is just the tip of the old man's iceberg; there are a lot more mini-games here every bit as crazy as these. So go ahead and touch your Grandpa. You might like it more than you think.
Obscure Video Games photo
Good Touch and Bad Touch
For some reason, when I first heard the name Grandpa Danger, my mind immediately went to "stranger danger," a phrase parents teach their children in order to avoid pedophiles. Thankfully, Grandpa doesn't touch any youngsters ...

Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Tecmo Koei's shonen crying simulator Attack on Titan shifts dev focus to PS4

Before, PS3 was the lead
Aug 13
// Chris Carter
Tecmo Koei's Omega Force is planning an Attack on Titan project, to be released on the PS3, PS4, and Vita platforms. Speaking to Dengeki, producer Hisashi Koinuma notes that this is the first time they are really fo...
New Attack on Titan photo
New Attack on Titan

New Attack on Titan PlayStation game from Dynasty Warriors devs incoming

Officially announced for 2016
Aug 05
// Jed Whitaker
[Update: The website has been updated revealing the above trailer for Attack on Titan (working title) for PS3, PS4, and PS Vita coming in 2016. No real gameplay details have been revealed but I noticed when Eren is flyi...
Senran Kagura photo
Senran Kagura

You can grab Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson in Europe next month

It's almost time to fight some boobs
Jul 30
// Laura Kate Dale
Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson is one of those games that probably know full well already if you're interested in buying or not. My job is to let you know when you can do that, if you want to do that. The newest Senran Kagura ...
Psycho-Pass photo

The Psycho-Pass game is getting an English version this fall

Localization not confirmed
Jul 27
// Chris Carter
If you're a fan of Psycho-Pass, you might be interested to hear that the upcoming Xbox One game will be getting English and Chinese versions later this year. Evidently 5pb will provide translations, which can be played by way...
Evamon photo

Monster Hunter adds Neon Genesis Evangelion characters, armor

Jul 17
// Steven Hansen
Monster Hunter continues its quest to cross over with everything. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate has been getting regular, free DLC including Animal Crossing, Devil May Cry, and Final Fantasy nods. Japan's Monster Hunter Frontier...
Arslan photo

I can't get enough of Heroic Legend of Arslan Warriors gameplay

It looks so beautiful
Jul 17
// Chris Carter
There's something about gameplay videos for Warriors titles that I can't get enough of. It happened for me for Hyrule Warriors, and it's happening again for the Heroic Legend of Arslan project. We only get a b...
Dragomon Hunter photo
Dragomon Hunter

Dragomon Hunter puts Hatsune Miku in Monster Hunter

That name is art in its purest form
Jul 16
// Joe Parlock
Monster Hunter’s pretty big at the moment, isn’t it? With its unforgiving combat and fantastic enemy designs making it hugely popular, it’s no wonder other developers have been wanting in on some of the suc...

Platinum's Saito wants to make a Kill la Kill game

Berserk, too!
Jul 14
// Kyle MacGregor
Metal Gear Rising director Kenji Saito currently has his hands full with the upcoming release of Transformers: Devastation this October. But what's next for him and the rest of Platinum Games? Well, if Saito had his druthers,...
Phantasy Star Online photo
Phantasy Star Online

Phantasy Star Online is getting an anime series

Based off the second core game
Jul 13
// Chris Carter
Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation is now in production. It will feature an all-new original story on Earth, and it will be a part of an eight-point initiative to celebrate Phantasy Star Online's 15-year anniversary. Hey you know what would be really cool, Sega? A real Phantasy Star Online 2 localization. Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation [Sega via idigitaltimes]
New Pokemon! photo
New Pokemon!

Brand new Pokemon teased for upcoming film

Who's that Pokemon!?
Jul 12
// Jed Whitaker
It's CliffyBee! But for real there is a leaked image from the upcoming CoroCoro magazine that shows a spooky silhouette of a brand new Pokémon from the upcoming Pokémon XY movie that is releasing in Japan n...
Anime Expo photo
Anime Expo

Check out all this cosplay from Anime Expo in 60 FPS

What is anime?
Jul 08
// Mike Cosimano
Cosplay videos are always challenging, especially when you're at a show where you don't recognize half the characters. I don't watch a whole lot of anime, but I wanted to see if I could make an interesting video nonetheless! ...
Steins;Gate photo

Steins;Gate on PS3 and Vita are exclusive to Amazon in the US

Jul 08
// Chris Carter
The Steins;Gate visual novel is coming to the PS3 and Vita platforms in the west, and will hit North American shores in August -- exclusively on Amazon, apparently, as revealed at the end of the newest trailer above. Strangely, the Vita version is $49.99 and the PS3 edition is $39.99, and both are physical. You can still find the game on PC at a number of locations if you wish.
Saint Seiya photo
Saint Seiya

Get a much better look at Saint Seiya: Soldier's Soul

More info revealed for Japan Expo
Jul 07
// Chris Carter
Saint Seiya is making a comeback with an all-new anime series and a fighting game, and I'm pretty excited for the future of the franchise. Although I didn't get a hands-on session with Soldier's Soul back when I at...
Waifu bartending photo
Waifu bartending

VA-11 HALL-A's got cat girls, booze, and an oppressive state

Cyberpunk Bartender Action
Jul 06
// Steven Hansen
I've written before about VA-11 HALL-A, which should be the best anime-inspired bartending sim of the year. And I don't say that lightly.  This new trailer shows off some more of the patrons you'll be liquoring up and s...
Crows: Burning Edge photo
Crows: Burning Edge

Crows: Burning Edge announced for PS4 and Vita

Based off the manga
Jul 06
// Chris Carter
Bandai Namco has revealed an unlikely project, titled Crows: Burning Edge, set to debut on the PS4 and Vita at some point in the future. It's based off of the Japanese manga series, which features delinquents in high school ...
Attack on Titan 3DS photo
Attack on Titan 3DS

Attack on Titan now available on 3DS in Europe

Australia and New Zealand, too!
Jul 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Shingeki no Kyojin: Humanity in Chains has finally arrived for the Nintendo 3DS in PAL territories. The action game allows players to suit up in Omni-directional Mobility Gear and take on Titans as either familiar faces from the manga and anime series or characters of your own creation. For €30, the (digital-only) title comes with an exclusive 3DS theme. You can find our review here.
Red Ash photo
Red Ash

Keiji Inafune probably making Mega Man Legends successor

Red Ash
Jul 02
// Steven Hansen
Keiji Inafune is at Anime Expo, which starts today in LA, to make a "special announcement," that "may interest Mega Man fans." The Mega Man co-creator left Capcom and formed Comcept, which recently has worked on two Meg...
Arslan photo

Here's our first look at the Heroic Legend of Arslan Musou game

Finally, actual in-game footage
Jul 01
// Chris Carter
The Heroic Legend of Arslan is getting a Musuo game that will arrive in Japan later this year on PS3 and PS4. Arslan is a classic manga series that's pretty popular in the east (and just got a new anime series), th...

Review: J-Stars Victory VS+

Jun 28 // Laura Kate Dale
J-Stars Victory Vs+ (PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Vita) Developer: Spike ChunsoftPublisher: Bandai Namco EntertainmentRelease: June 26, 2015 (EU), June 30, 2015 (US) I may not be the most knowledgeable anime fan out there, but I'm always willing to try out a new series if it looks interesting. As such, I was pretty excited coming into J-Stars Victory VS+. I was hoping to experience well known characters I already knew, as well as finding new characters to get invested in and try watching going forward. Unfortunately, J-Stars Victory VS+ was a bit of a disappointment in that regard. The representations of characters I already knew didn't feel accurate and the hooks to get invested in new series just weren't there for me. So, as this is a fighting game first and foremost, let's talk about the fighting mechanics at play. Every character has one light attack button, a heavy attack button, a special attack button, a block and a dash. While these are tailored to each character, the movesets all feel very similar to play using. While it's cool to see Ichigo pull off a Getsuga Tensho and Goku a Kamehameha, both on a mechanical level act near identically. Every move is an approximation designed to fit a specific combat system's mold, which ultimately takes away some of what makes these characters unique. Defensive techniques like cancels are minimal, so if you wait for an attack animation to start then start mashing buttons you'll usually win. J-Stars Victory VS+ is not a game of skill, it's a game of waiting for any enemy to attempt anything slower than a light attack, interrupting with a light attack then button mashing while they remain locked in your combo. [embed]294934:59255:0[/embed] So, ignoring the fact the combat system itself lacks depth, lets look at how this functions as a pure fanservice game. Just looking at the numbers there is a lot here for fans of Shonen anime to love. There's representation from newer series like D.Gray-man as well as older series like Rurouni Kenshin and a whole host of series in between. There's even inclusions from my super niche sports anime, but only as support characters rather than full playable roster members. Damn, I was just about ready to praise this game for supporting my niche interests. So, let's talk about the modes on offer in J-Stars Victory VS+. There's J-Adventure, where you sail around the world on a tiny boat given to you by god to earn your way into a tournament of champions, where everyone involved seems perfectly fine with the fact god gave them a boat that couldn't get most of the places it needed to go and needlessly pads out the experience with narrative fluff between fights. This mode has four arcs, each of them near narratively identical. I couldn't see any reason players would want to go through all four of these, they're all equally padded and dull. Your other options are Victory Road which sets up special fights loosely themed around anime dream team fights, a standard Arcade mode which offers minimal challenge, local free battles and online free battles. None of these modes felt terribly coherent or fleshed out. On paper, the roster of nearly 40 playable characters is certainly impressive, but what makes these characters unique is rarely utilized fully. Each character's ultimate attack feels decidedly less visually impressive than comparable titles like Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4. The story mode offered on disk features static 2D images of characters that may say the odd single word to each other, but otherwise remain silent. Their dialogue feels terribly homogeneous, stripped down so that every character speaks with the same uniform voice. This doesn't feel like a series of characters clashing for the first time, rather it feels like one person in many different outfits badly acting out their alternative universe fanfiction. Where the games opening cinematic gave me hope for a visually impressive, fanservice heavy experience, the single player largely boiled down to watching static images talk to each other in a weirdly unemotional tone then fight for no adequately explained reason. It just wasn't compelling. Ultimately, J-Stars Victory VS+ only succeeds as numbers on paper, the game itself being largely disappointing. The roster have had much of what made them unique stripped down, stopping me getting truly excited about the characters I knew and preventing me getting a sense of which characters were worth me investing future time watching. The mechanics are shallow, the fanservice is surface level and it only succeeds in terms of its pure number of supported characters. Overall, I walked away rather disappointed. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the developer.]
J-Stars Victory VS+ photo
Mash, mash, mash, mash, mash, mash......
J-Stars Victory VS+ is a game that's mechanically light, heavy on fanservice volume but that only ever skims the surface of the characters it includes. If you want an anime brawler that focuses on the sheer volume of anime ch...

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